Hello my beloved strawberry ice cream

Now then, it’s proper summer

It’s been a magnificently stressful week. After having sold our flat (when our neighbours sold theirs, there were some additional bidders and we just couldn’t resist) and gone house hunting a few months ago, we realised that time was running out.

While waiting for our dream house to turn up, we therefore bought a bigger flat (bigger kitchen!), relatively newly built (under floor heating in the bathrooms!) and with two balconies of which one is glassed-enclosed (my partner calls it cosy balcony, I say winter garden) but the problem was the time gap between moving out and moving in – two months.

Perfect opportunity to move out to the family farm and instead of staying in the converted mill as usual, we now occupy a cottage down by the lake. That feeling, when doing the dishes, whilst overlooking a burgeoning field or when standing next to the big kitchen island (yepp, I installed an IKEA Stenstorp the second I entered the place) and enjoy the view of the lake.

It’s almost ridiculously relaxing and I know that EVERYONE who leaves town for the countryside says exactly the same thing. But the fact is, that to be able to open the door and twenty steps later find yourself on our little sandy beach is more or less unbeatable. Not to mention Leon Leonberger’s great gratitude of being able to bathe whenever he wants to.

In other words, it’s proper summer now. Consequently, there are then a few routines you must start, of which one is ice cream making. You have to eat ice cream every day, otherwise the trolls will steel the sun from the sky, according to an old Swedish saying. Or, well, according to a newly invented saying.

At the same time, the first Swedish strawberries have shown up in the markets and as it has been relatively dry the last few days, they are lovely and firm, with a rich flavour. There is a certain charm with the first strawberries of the season even if, when it comes to taste, they are miles away compared to the autumnal delicacies, like Malvina.

After having devoured a few litres with milk and sugar and having made a bottle of cordeal, it was time for the first strawberry ice cream of the year. This is a good, basic recipe if you want to add other flavours.

A few tips along the way:
– I prefer to add lemon. You need the acidity to balance the fat and the sweetness and the zest gives it such an incredibly good taste.
– Use as firm strawberries as possible.
– A vanilla pod is possibly the best investment you can make here, to maximise the flavour. – Whatever you do, don’t allow the mixture to boil when heating it. The eggs would solidify and you end up with a grainy mess.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Time: 1 hour plus a few hours’ wait

  • 1 litre strawberries
  • 2 dl milk (preferably full fat)
  • 2 dl whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla pod (or 2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar)
  • 0.75 dl sugar (70 g to be exact)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 0.5 lemon + juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Rince and clean the strawberries. If you prefer your ice cream with bits, chop three or four strawberries and sprinkle over a bit of sugar.
  2. Pour milk and cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod, scrape it and place both the pod and the scraped seeds in the saucepan. Warm until it starts simmering, then take it off the heat to cool down. Remove the vanilla pod.
  3. Beat sugar, eggs and salt thoroughly, to make it really fluffy. Then grate the lemon zest (absolutely no more than the very outer part of its skin, very finely grated). Save the lemon, its juice is to be used later.
  4. Pour the cream mixture, in a fine trickle, into the sugar/egg-mix. Stir continuously. By doing this, you warm the eggs slowly instead of shocking them and making them solid, were you to add everything in one go.
  5. Pour everything through a fine sieve into a saucepan and place it on a medium heat. Keep whisking, slowly.  Once it reaches around 80-85 degrees, it will thicken into something looking a bit like lightly whipped cream. Then, remove it from the heat and preferably place in iced water. Whip until it has cooled down.
  6. Pour the strawberries in a mixer together with the juice from the lemon and run it until you get your preferred consistency, together with a few table spoons of sugar. Add this to the ice cream mixture.
  7. Cool down for at least a few hours, but preferably overnight, before pouring it into the ice cream machine.
  8. If you’d rather have rippled ice cream, you add some of the strawberries once it is ready in the ice cream machine. Drizzle it over the ice cream, stir a few times and then place in the freezer.